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tv   Government Access Programming  SFGTV  April 14, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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>> we have a high rate of depression, anxiety, self-hatred, suicide and suicide attempts. and it's because we're often rejected owe so aggressively, not only in the rest of the world, but also in our own community. so substances are available and around because we rely on them to get through our daily lives, but mostly we need them to lower our guards, lower our inhibitions, for example, enough to be able to do this thing that our culture tells us to do,
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after we come out to our biological families, we get to come out and choose our chosen families. this is literally one of the scariest things we have to do, build a whole new world, build strong relationships with people, and it is hard when you don't have a foundation to do that, and often, for many of us, it leaves us with more trust issues than we started out with. but that's a really human tling. thing. to want a supportive community, or a supportive family, so people who will hold you at your worst, and these types of support systems are interesting because they also activate sort of the same receptors that a lot of -- in your brain, that drugs can also activate to make you feel connected. so in this way, drugs often act as sort of a balance to our lives' unpredictability, and
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often pushes us to try another day when life often seems meaningless. so in this essence, i want to say that harm reduction, which is now sort of a buzz word that i'm sure you guys have heard a bunch of times now, in essence for me, it is sort of this acknowledgement that simply that life is complicated. and it's not necessarily saying that drugs are evil or that drugs are good, or that that abstinence is happiness. it's just simply saying that life is complicated, we're going day by day. i also want to say that i get the privilege of working at this place called the san francisco drug users' union, and often people are, like, what the hell is that? are drug users unionized officially? don't, what is happening.
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but it is just a little spot in the tenderloin for people who use drugs. we have wound care gear that we give out for free. and we distribute naloxone, and we train people who how to use it. we pick up syringe litter, but probably the most important part that i feel like the drug users' union does it is completely employed and staffed by people who actively use drugs. there are all different types of people, all different types of drugs, and we all work together to create this space where the world -- to offer those services, right, but also a place where the world can slow down a minute. it is busy in the city, and it's especially busy in the tenderloin. there is a lot going on outside, a lot of stimulation, so we try to create sort of a relaxed environment amongst peers, where people can relax and take a deep breath, and
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not worry so much that they're about to get security called on them or cops called on them to move, or to repack their stuff or get their stuff thrown away. and it is fascinating because it is not only -- i feel like sometimes when we're talking about this issue we're talking about a specific demographic of people, which are people who live outside, but at the union, i get to meet people who are lawyers, chefs, i've met bankers and bartenders, all sorts of people who come in to get clean supplies and who get to hang out with people who live outside. i also get to have these experiences every day, really basic ones. i think everyone can relate to sort of a tenderloin classic, maybe somebody walking down the street with na clothes on, and they're like oh, my gosh, this is what it is like here? but just the other day, a woman, no clothes on, walking down the sidewalk,
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walks up to -- is walking past our space, and i'm outside, and i just said, hi, what happened to your clothes? and she was holding them, and she says, i have them right here. and i said, it's kind of cold out, do you want to put them back on? and she said, you know what, it is kind of cold out, i will put them back on. and she put them back on, and came inside the union for a minute, was able to sit down, relax, i got her some water, and she helped me clean out our entire drop-in center for, like, an hour, and got another glass of water, said thank you, and left and went about her day. i tell you this story because i think this is what we get a lot of complaints about in the public, this is so chaotic, and this is so crazy, but it is still very -- there is still very human interactions even when it appears on the surface level to be so
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chaotic. so when we're advocating for these sites, i would like to advocate that they also become sort of those places. they're not just a place where people can do drugs, but also a place for people to connect, to build relationships, perhaps find chosen families because we are also san franciscan residents, and we are also the public. and we, too, want to feel protected by the city we try to give back to every day. the very people being blamed for creating an unsafe neighborhood are also the same people who are in the most need for a safe place to be. so i don't -- i was going to, like, introduce people after me, but public comment actually occurs after me. but whenever my people come up -- so i brought a few people with me, and they are literally some of the most wonderful people i've ever met. people who have
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collectively literally saved more lives than i can even count. people who love this city, even though they are treated so horribly here, so often. people who i get to work alongside with every day. and people who are eager to help staff and run these sites when they come into existence. and i won't say all of their names, but i'll let them introduce themselves when they come up. thank you so much for your time. >> chairman: thank you. [applause] >> chairman: colleagues, if there are comments on questions -- or supervisor haney? >> i want to thank all three of our speakers in advance to everybody who is here for public comment, who really do this work every day already, saving lives, supporting people, being there through harm reduction. we know that as ms. ian
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said, there are a lot of reasons that people may our responsibility is to make sure that people know that we value them, we care for them, and that there is support for every member of our community who needs it. i did have one question that i wanted to ask. i think probably to the representative from the department of public health, although laura thomas may be able to weigh in on this as well, i think this was mentioned, but san francisco is not at all new to this conversation. in many ways this legislation at the state level was initiated by some of the deep intensive research and work that we've been already doing here, but that we've been doing in preparation for this. in 2017, there was a safe injection services taskforce, which i know ms. thomas sat on. and that taskforce, which was made up of medical
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experts and public health experts and people who have been doing this for a long time, and they came forward with a very clear recommendation that we need to create safe injection sites here in san francisco. and i was just looking back at the report, and there were a number of different things, including the legal and political and policy barriers of which this continues to be one that we have to overcome. but it also talked about an assessment to determine the optimal service scale site requirements, capacity, work flow, and it talked about piloting integrated small-scale sites. some of the other pieces of sort of forgiving out how and where exactly this is going to happen. so i wonder if you might -- one of you might speak sort of what has happened on some of those things up until this point, and what you would see as where things stand now and what the next steps would be for san
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francisco, hopefully, if this is to pass. >> that's a great question. and it's something, with harm reduction, we go to where people are at. so, of course, any safe injection services would have to be sited where people are already convening, and really in alignment with the experts and with the people that are trusted in the community. like ms. ian, like our partners at san francisco aids foundation and glide and st. jame's infirmary. so that is key. we also recognize the challenge of people who want services in their community, and that is hard because we have a definite need. so i think there will be a very clear community process, working with neighbors and residents. and when we have the safe injection services taskforce, there were
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focus groups, and there was a survey that went out to include the insight of residents and business owners on, like, would you support this? and it seemed like everyone was in agreement that if there was a very clear process, this is a very important pool t tool to ad to the toolbox in reaching people who use drugs. as far as continuing the conversations, we're very lucky, the health department, to be so closely aligned with our community partners, and to be able to have the dialogue of what is going on and how we could work to address this issue. but for the next steps in movement, i'll turn it over to laura. >> and in terms of working on the next steps and the implementation, in addition to the department of public health and their leadership on this, a number of different community-based organizations, including the san francisco aids
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foundation, health right 360, glide foundation, and others have been working to develop some implementation plans. and have put in place staffing plans, budgets, etc., and have that work done in order to be ready to go with that. there are -- there are some legal issues that may affect the implementation of this. i think, you know, from a problematic perspective, integrating these services into a wide variety of programs that already exist is probably optimal in terms of people being able to access these services, in places where they're accessing other services. but on the other hand, legally it may make more sense to have a stand-alone site that has its own legal structure, for example, that's what the city of philadelphia is working on now. i think it will be pushing for the optimal
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problematic implementation that can meet as much of the need as possible, while trying to mitigate any potential legal risk to any organizations that are doing that. i think we're well-prepared in this city, in large part because of the work of the public health department, to move forward and implement those recommendations. >> okay. supervisor haney? supervisor stefani. >> there are terms like "harm reduction," and we talk about having the overdose prevention programs or safe injection sites, whatever the term is, and we talk about connecting people to services at those sites. and that is something that we -- we will be continuing to do. that's something that we will be focusing on,
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correct? and so in connecting people to services, should they want them, i assume that we would be able to connect them to a wide variety of services, not just harm reduction, because for some people abstinence is the only way to treat their addiction, and i'm hoping that when we're throwing out terms like "harm reduction," and we're talking about the centers in this way, that when we talk about connecting people to services who are coming in, so that they can safely inject in a way that doesn't cause harm to people on the streets or cause harm to themselves, that we are able to connect them to services that will treat their need. i want to make sure because for me, that's a really important point, that if we're going to have these sites, that we are going to be able to offer services that help people because i happen to
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know a lot of people in recovery. and i happen to have a brother who has gone rounds with heroin, and who is now clean for maybe 60 days right now, living with my mom, and i've been through this. i know what this is. i speak from experience. and i just want to make sure that when people come in, that they have, like i said, a wide variety, not just harm reduction. because as much as harm reduction might work for some people, it does not work for everybody. and people need to be connected to services where abstinence is something that will help them, you know, eventually lead to a life of recovery. so that's an extremely important point for me, and i want to make sure that we clarify that. so if you can just please speak to that.
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>> absolutely. i think the harm reduction is about reducing the harm from drugs to the maximum extent possible, and certainly for a lot of people what that looks like is not using drugs at all, ever, abstinence or recovery, whether they come to that through a 12-step model or through their own work or through medication. for many people, that is harm reduction, and that is what they need in their lives. and absolutely any programs like this will work to connect people to the services that they need, the services that they want, and for some people it is a step at a time, and sometimes for other people it is all at once. but it is part of the sort
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of magic of what some of these sites can do, in that they give people a place of calm and respite and let people have a bit of time to reflect on what's going on in their lives. and given them the opportunity, if they want to change their relationship with drugs, that they're then able to do that and are supported. the program in vancouver has a detox and treatment program literally on the second floor. in site is the first floor, and on site is on the second floor. and so people are able to move immediately from the supervised injection services to a detox and treatment program as soon as they want to, and that has been incredibly affective to making that barrier to treatment as low as possible, for people to immediately be able to move forward. that is part of the vision in san francisco, being able to make those connections as easy as possible. i know that health right
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360 is one of the biggest proponents here in san francisco. essentially, most of the treatment programs in this city are really eager to have these programs started as a way to connect people into their services. >> thank you. >> i just wanted to add something, i think it is really important to just repeat it is a continue continum of services. and by someone who would be accessing a safe injection service site, it is treating that person with respect and dignity. and when you treat someone with respect and dignity, they're more inclined to move along the continuum and make change in their life. i think that is really important to note. and i want to say, also, that when it comes to a place where san francisco is ready to implement these types of services, these are the important conversations that we should have of what services that are connected should like like.
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so thanks for raising that question. >> and just to follow up on that point, i want to add that treating people with respect, i absolutely agree with. and also having people on site that have either recovered themselves and can say to that person, i've been where you are, and i know what this is like, to make sure you have people on site, which i know you would, that can help lead people into recovery and help them get the help they need, should they want it. >> that's our current model at our su syringe sites. we have people that are at different stages of the continuum that work or volunteer at the site, and that's a very strong component because what resonates with the people who are accessing the sites is that there is someone like me. so that is really key. thank you so much for raising that. >> just following up a little on that before we open to public comment,
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for the other sites that have either been opened in other cities or are under consideration, what are some of the sort of specific services that are made available there? and i know as part of the taskforce, that was some of the conversation. one of the things that i think we want to make sure is that those services are in place on site, and also we're having the appropriate pathways for people to, as you said, access a continuum of care. one of the things that i'm interested in is making sure, for example, that we have enough available longer-term beds, especially for people who want to pursue treatment and also need a place to live and housing. how you might imagine connecting those opportunities through the overdose prevention program. >> you know, we don't
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currently have enough treatment capacity here in san francisco in terms of substance abuse, disorder treatment, mental health and behavioral health treatment. we have capacity in some parts of the system and not in others. so you'll be hearing much more from me and many others moving forward in this process, and i hope that things like the prop "c" funding can help address some of those shortfalls and capacity. i don't need to say anything about the housing crisis in this city. but for me, those are -- and while these programs don't address those shortfalls in housing or in treatment capacity, for me they make the urgency around these programs all the greater. what are we doing with someone who wants to get into treatment but is on a wait list? wants to get into housing, but is on a wait list? is on a wait list for shelter. the very least we should
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be doing is making sure they stay alive until they get that opportunity to go into treatment with these programs. but in terms of your question about the type of services, you know, there are so many different models for these programs around the country, from very peer-based ones that are social, and some of the european ones are very peer-based and social. in vancouver, for example, it is sort of the other extreme. one is embedded in -- essentially it is an adult day health care, for people with h.i.v., and the nurses will supervise injections, and nurses will go to people's rooms in the supportive housing facility, so it is fully embedded to a clinical model. and a place like in site, they have the ability to refer people to treatment upstairs. they have a small medical clinic. they can do triage, they can do minor health care there on site. they have peers on site. they refer people to groups, to other services,
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to housing. so they're able to connect people. it is run by a large non-profit organization that runs a lot of the supportive housing in vancouver, so they're able to refer people into their housing services as needed. it is really the -- the sort of model is only limited by our capacity in the city, and our desire to connect the services as people say they need them. >> i think the only thing that i would add is that this today is a first step. we're talking about ab362, and that's really important. when we get to the place where we're ready to implement and plan, that's a much larger discussion. and we want the program to be successful, or the sites to be successful, and that's going to make sure that all of the pieces are aligned because we don't want to be one of the first jurisdictions to
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open a location and it not be successful. so that's going to take a lot of thoughtful planning, not only with the community providers, but also with the board of supervisors and the various other departments. >> chairman: great. thank you. i'm not seeing any other comments or questions. and if not, i would like to ask -- that's all right, supervisor haney. then we will take public comment. we're going to start with ms. ian's folks, and those are dray, johnnie, kyle, seven, and robert. so if you could come on up. i'm going to say some things about public comment and how it works. speakers have two minutes. we ask that you state your first and last name clearly and speak directly into the microphone. although you do not have to state your name if you
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prefer not to. those who have prepared written statements, they're encouraged to leave a copy with the clerk. no applause or booing is permitted, and in the interest time, we ask that speakers avoid repetition of previous statements. after our first group, i want to invite up erika, lydia, jack, and gabriel. and if we could have our first public commenter come on up. >> hello. my name is andre edwards, and i am a proud member of ms. ian's program. i'm here today not as some scientist. i'm here today not to talk about numbers because, as
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far as i'm concerned, there is only one number, and that is number one. if this can save one person's life, then it will be done in the greatness of god. i really, really want to stress to people that now is the time to act. i have listen tod listened to at of talking, and now is the time for us to be a leader and take the first steps in starting a clean injection site because if you don't, things that the doctors can't even explain will continue to happen to people like me. i was not chosen to be a drug addict. before i was born, it wasn't said that i would be a drug addict.
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if my dad had spoke today, he would not have known that i would. ( buzzer ). >> it doesn't discriminate. it can hit from the lowest to the highest, okay? but we have to act now. i have some issues going on with me behind not being ana able to be in safe havens when i address my addiction. and one of them is my leg. [buzzer] >> chairman: thank you. thank you. next speaker.
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>> hello. my name is john bidwell. i'm also here on behalf of the side of ms. ian. from what i've seen in the last two, three years, i've seen a rise in the fentanyl use and more people overdosing. and i think it's a good step to take to bring all these sites to help people. i personally have seen probably 10, 15 people last year. they went out in front of me and i had no other
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choice. it's good also to get people off the streets so they're not using in front of children and in front of people. because there is another side to people that use drugs. we're not all just monsters. so, yeah, it is a good thing to bring people off the streets so they're not using in front of people. that's the main thing. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hello, my name is kyle barker, and i'm a 37-year-old, pretty proud drug user. i'm proud to be here today. thank you all for having us. the importance of this is far beyond just drug users. it is completely for this city, and san francisco
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has always been a very proud place of not waiting for things to happen, and not wait for everybody else to do something. the city has taken the lead in doing something, whether you're talking aids treatment and everything. this is a massive one. the lives that can be saved in this are across the board and staggering. two days ago, one of my best friends -- i saved him. a lot of this has to do with the fact that people are not in an environment where they're ana able to be safe. they feel like they have to do a big shot at one time because they're not sure when they'll get another one in. that's bad enough. and it has to do with the implements for society as a whole. if these places open up, law enforcement can put in rules and regulations, and put consequences of using in public. which is a great idea. i don't think we should be using outdoors in public. and it will also enable us
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to not make sure we endanger children. and make sure we do not endanger pets, and across the board and everything else that goes. i don't like it. on top of it, too, you're talking about the fact that -- you had a good point, i wouldn't take advice from someone who doesn't honestly know what this feels like. they have to know what i feel, understands what i've gone through. i'm able to cry in front of of people who knows what it feels like. thank you all for listening to us. bless you all. >> chairman: thank you. the next speaker. >> good morning. thank you for having us. i'm a drug user, and i also work at the drug users' union. i want to basically say these are important -- we need to have these already. we need to catch up here, when you get these in place. for the overdose prevention itself, in the last three years, i've lost 15 friends, not just
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acquaintances, but actually friends, to overdoses of fentanyl. like my predecessor said, the use in public is getting out of the hand. the fact that you walk down the streets and people are using everywhere, no one wants to see that and no one should have to see that. putting these facilities up so we can go in private and do what we do so no one else is harmed, and no one else has to see it, no one is offended. i think it will give more respect to us and more respect to the public. i hope you offer these. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hello. i'm robert greer. and i also volunteer at the d.u. u. it is important to get this in place to help get the dirty needles off the streets, and the treatment people need. also, the medical -- i, myself, have had to hurry up and do a shot because the police were coming or a kid was coming down the
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sidewalk. and you get an abscess because you miss. and the potential for losing a limb or something like that. i'm going through that right now with my arm. but it is just an important place -- something that is important that needs to be done, and thank you all for having us. >> chairman: thank you. i'm going to call some more names, to let folks know they're coming up. cherry tow, wendy wong, luann basin, marty ragan, richie greenburg, and i think it's sarania wilson. next speaker. >> good morning, my name is gabriel diaz. i'm a drug user.
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i don't always use i.v. needles, but when i do choose to, i would rather be informed and educated so i know how to rightly use. i have a neighbor and she only has one limb because she wasn't educated. she developed an abscess, and because of the stigma and shame of it, she just lost the arm. arm, from what i know. safety is paramount. education and info will lead to less abscesses. i got mugged once because i was in a park. and a friend o.d.'d because he punctured his neck. we had to run and get some narcan. i've seen my life get significantly better. i'm a united states marine, i'm a veteran. and in san francisco, i've got housing. now i'm getting part-time work, getting in school,
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getting an education, where i want to help others who are i impoverished. i want to open -- with these resources, they can open the door to housing where they can get their mind right and their body right. i'm proud of san francisco, and i want to bridge the gap from ignorance to 21st century services. and i want the city to lead the way. i don't think it is a harm reducer. i think it is a harm nul nullifyer. and after two tours in iraq, is life i want to nurture in my community and i want to stand up for. thank you very much. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hello, my name is jack mcclennan. i've been a drug addict and around drugs all my life. and i've seen all kinds of things, all of the effects
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they have on people, on people's lives. i wanted to say through all of that, i've never seen, like, two drug users be together and they say, oh, we've got these drugs, let's go get high. and one of them says, well, there is nowhere we can go get high legally, though, oh, well, let's not get high. i've never heard that. what i have heard is somebody say, oh, man, i don't have a clean needle. and his buddy says, oh, man, i don't have nothing, dude. i was checked, like, two, three months ago. just use mine, you'll be cool. i have heard that. and what else? yeah -- there is some other stuff i wanted to say. oh, yeah, and we're san francisco. and they were talking about earlier about
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philadelphia's getting ready to do -- you know, they're working on their things. in a way, it will make me sad if they get theirs first because we're san francisco. we're supposed to be leading this. because this is all gonna happen. it is going to eventually happen. it is just where are we going to be at? are we going to be the ones that were trailing on it and behind the pack, or are we going to be leading the pack in this fight? >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> good morning. my name is erica farmer. i live in san francisco and work at health right 360. we serve over 30,000 californians and 9,000 low income san franciscans. we want to thank the board of supervisors, laura thomas, for bringing attention to this issue. health 360 is happy to be a co-sponsor that help
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with harm reduction programs. this will give us the ability to better adjust our communities, connect people to detox services and addiction treatment, and reduce the spread of h.i.v. and hepatitis. existing overdose prevention sites have been shown to reduce health and safety problems associated with drug use. studies show that consumers at overdose prevention sites in canada, europe, and australia, are more likely to enter treatment and more likely to stop using drugs. they do not enable drug use, but it shows they reduce drug use. there is an evidence--based effective response to an important health care solution. as we walk around the city, it is clear we need these programs, supported by the mayor, the board of supervisors, and 70% of the public according to a recent poll by the chamber of commerce. addiction treatment programs, medical providers, drug user and health advocates and
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housing providers have been pushing this program for over a decade. they convened a task-force which unanimously recommended moving forward with harm reduction programs. san francisco would save $3.5 million a year if just one of these programs were opened. overdose prevention sites are a common next step to address drug related harm beyond drug syringe access programs. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hi, my name is frank castro. sorry, i'm a little late. i was trying to connect people out in the street. i love my job, and you guys can help me by putting me face to face with the people who need it the most. having 362 go through would give us an opportunity to cure hep "c" in this city -- not reduce it, but cure it.
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and get everybody that is h.i.v.-positive to undetectable. so we can be first with safe consumption space. we can be first for curing hep "c" in this city, and we can be first for getting every resident who has h.i.v. to up detectable, and you all can help that happen. please make ni jo my job a little easier, get people connected who want the services. we need your help to get this started, and i really challenge you to act like this is the progressive city it claims to be. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> thank you, supervisors. my name is ben, and i'm here representing the glide foundation, and the many others of us from the harm reduction programs, like frank. i want to thank you everybody who has been involved. all of the leadership of you all on the board, of all of the organizations, all of the people who are
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affected. i want to talk a little bit about the personal affect that i've seen because i think it adds something to all of the incredible data, research, and future plans. when i got to go to vancouver and i see this on the fifth floor at glide all of the time, i noticed this really big difference in the community there. i couldn't really put measure finger on it when i was there, but i realized afterwards how the affective love and dignity really improve the lives of people. and the people who were showing us around were looking at us and smiling, and they could smile and be just normal human beings in a way that isn't allowed here, isn't allowed in our country. and by doing the work you're doing and continuing it with the support of this resolution, you're legalizing dignity, and you're legalizing love, and you're doing the work that needs to happen for our community to be healed. i was moved here ms. ian talking about the difficulty in finding
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facilities, and for the treatment of drugs, because i think it is the connection we all crave and the connection that heals. i appreciate everybody's participation, and i'm looking forward to the followup. >> chairman: thank you. amber sheldon, mina young, lara sinani, curtis bradford, fernando pugels, and anoxal rama. >> i'm lydia branston and i'm here as a community member and someone who has worked in the tenderloin for 13 years. when i first came to this work, i was one of those people who believes that tough love and zero tolerance for drug use was probably the best way to come to solving this problem. it came from a lack of understanding. 13 years later, i can say that i'm a huge proponent of harm reduction, safe injection sites, and the
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reason i say that is because tough love often means death. and i'm going to tell you the story of three gentleman today, who came through our treatment program. all three gentleman o.d.'d in the past 30 days, two of them on monday. one of them survived. the one who survived was not alone, and that's what this is about. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> my name is cherry. [indiscernable] >> the drug injection site means like a brand name.
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it means that we allow, encourage everybody to go to a drug addiction center. so finally we legalize. we have drug injection site. and therefore we have -- we should not make a permanent drug injection site in a public place. we love everybody. we love everybody, not only the drug people, drug addiction people. we have to take care of everybody. and in order to take care of everybody, we cannot encourage people to admit -- to recognize -- to encourage them to use
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the drug and to be in addiction to the drug. and so -- but the drug addiction people need to go to treatment, not to go to drug injection site. the using of the illegal drug is against federal law. unless the federal change their law. in general, we cannot only focus on the money and focus on the profit. [buzzer] >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> good morning, supervisors. my name is wendy wong from coalition of good neighborhoods. i have heard a lot of testimony today, how safe
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sites are going to work for the drug addicts and someone who needs help. this resolution is totally the opposite of helping the drug addicts and people who need help. when you are talking about prevention -- like a flu shot, you have prevention. you get the flu shot, and people can get healed, people can get back to a healthy lifestyle. we should use our money to encourage healthy lifestyles. it is for our money to be put into the safe injection site. no overdose, no abuse is safe, no matter how you see it. we should get more treatment centers where we encourage them to get healthy and healthy lifestyles. we should not use alternate drugs to inject
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into their body and prolong their drug habits. we have so many people who need help and crying for help. a lot of decent people in our neighborhoods, they do not have time to go to this hearing. they sent e-mails and call in. and people who attend this one, they need a correct direction to deal with this. again, it is not legal in federal laws to consume drugs and to sell -- to distribute narcotic drugs. we have to wake up, san francisco, that we should not encourage to have these drugs prolonged and hurt our generation, our younger generation. according to what i know, the safe injection sites do not even ask for i.d. that means people -- [buzzer] >> chairman: thank you. next speaker.
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>> good morning, supervisors. my name is luann basin from district 4 in the sunset. i oppose this legislation, and i oppose 362. it is misguided. san francisco has a history of misguided-cutting-edge policies, for example, the needle exchange program, which started two decades ago and was supposed to be a one-on-one needle exchange. and everybody recognizes that there has been no oversight of it and no enforcement. the city is handing out about 6,000 -- i'm sorry -- six million needles every year, but recovering only two million, leaving almost four million needles floating around. as a citizen of san francisco, i am disgusted by coming down to civic center and having to watch every step that i take.
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i feel like i need to wear combat boots coming down here because of the risk of stepping on a dirty, infected needle, or stepping in a puddle or a pile of human extrament or urine or vomit. and having a site like this, whatever you want to call it, safe injection site, drug harm reduction site -- you can give it any name you want. we all know what it really is. it is about letting drug addicts use illegal drugs on city property, paid for by taxpayers. this is an insult to hard-working taxpayers who are just trying to go about their lives. if you want to get treatment -- and i heard lots of professional speakers today talk about if -- if the person is ready, if the person wants
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treatment. we have many, many programs already available for people who truly want treatment. [buzzer] >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> good morning, my name is richie greenburg. i'm a resident of now district 2, formally district 1. i'm a 19-year resident here in san francisco. i am very concerned, and i strongly oppose this proposal here. and i urge a no vote on the resolution. this is a deeply flawed plan. it is one-sided. it is looking at harm reduction. it is not looking at treatment, which is where we should be emphasizing our assets. it is inhumane, unjust, and it is going to have an opposite effect of what you intend. it lacks any method to
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require treatment for addiction. studies in vancouver also are showing not although rosy situation there, but you've got increasing crime. you've got overflow and over capacity, and that's what we should expect here as well, dealing with crime and overcapacity, people coming into the area near a safe injection site cannot get in and will shoot up on the street instead. what would be expected from this -- what would happen at a safe injection site here, any illegal activity would lead to a free for fall. there will be increasing number of addicts who will move into the area. of course, a safe injection site ignores the fundamental rules of drug treatment, just like a 12-step program for alcohol addiction: you do not give more. you do not enable, you do
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not facilitate with alcohol. that's exactly what this is going to do. in conclusion, please, i urge a no vote on this resolution. thank you very much for your time. >> chairman: thank you. mr. clerk, we're not supposed to have signs in the chambers, is that right? >> this is correct. rule three does ask that the public not display signs in the chamber. >> chairwoman: okay. so i would ask if folks could -- thank you. next speaker. >> thank you. my name is marty regan and i'm a director at st. anthony's. supervisor stefani, thank you for telling your story. i know that was difficult for you. we wish you the absolute best outcome for your brother. in the spirit of the gospel, inspired by the joy and compassion of francis and assisisi, with
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all who hunger and tirt thirst for justice and peace, we ask our city leaders to inform and enact overdose prevention policies, so there is healing for those who suffer, and those who are already marginalized and disadvantaged are not pushed further into death and dispair. thank you. >> chairman: next speaker. >> good afternoon, mime name is amber sheldon. i'm a drug user and a san franciscan for many, many years. so there has been a lot of issues brought up about taxpayers shouldn't be paying for drug treatment and for all of these other issues, but actually what would happen with these sites would be saving taxpayers money from ambulance rides, e.r. visits, hep "c" and h.i.v. treatment. there would be way less
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bacterial infections, and many less overdoses. there has never been the spread of h.i.v. or hep "c" or ove overdose in a site like this around the world. as far as services goes, there are -- there is not enough drug treatment in this city currently. all of the time i have people coming in and asking me to help get them into treatment. there are people who want to help themselves. the fact of the matter is, if they have to wait weeks or months and jump through many, many hoops in order to get into these treatments -- the easiest way to get into drug treatment in san francisco is to get incarcerated. the safe injection facilities or overdose prevention sites will inform drug users on how to be safe, as well as how to protect their loved ones and how to get treatment that they need.
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it would reduce the amount of syringe litter, as well as use in public. i would hope that some of the other services that would be available here would be medication, including an opioid replacement therapies, and h.i.v. and hep "c" medication as well. and that will all be discussed further once this passes. thank you for your time. >> chairman: thank you. i'm going to call a few more names. tony newman, ruby coaches -- rogers -- spencer hudson, eileen lejow, robert hoffman, rose liano, and william bullman. >> good morning, my name is lena young. i'm a parent of two kids, and i was a very active parent volunteer at schools.
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and i really value our resources. the most important is our future generation. we definitely don't want them to be under the shadow of having injection sites around them to encourage them that it is acceptable. someone mentioned about opium war, and that's the deepest lesson we learned from being chinese. and how we eradicated the opium is not by building injection sites for them. we eliminated the opium suppliers. we had war against it. it's a painful experience from a really huge country, and we don't want san francisco to be that.
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pieshi appreciate all of these people coming in and shares their experiences. and i hear they don't want to be doing drugs. they don't want to be in front of people doing drugs. they need support; they need treatment. we need to provide treatment, and we need to do prevention at schools and provide education for training at city college and schools, early training to let people become productive and let them know the bad things about drugs. and eliminate the drug providers. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hello, i'm am laura sinani. we have an opioid and fentanyl epidemic here in
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san francisco. people are dying on the streets of overdoses. our streets are covered with needles. addiction is a health issue, and drug users must be treated with dignity. i implore you to have overdose prevention services, to prevent overdoses, to provide a safe environment where drug users can use, and also get treatment for their health issues. whether harm reduction model or recovery model. and also overdose prevention services can prevent syringe litter and a safer environment for us all. people's lives are at stake. i urge for these services. thank you. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> hello, supervisors. thank you. i'm curtis bradford and a community organizer at
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t.n.c c. we wholeheartedly support this resolution. and i'm a board member of the -- excuse me. i'm now a board member of the tenderloin community benefit district, and i've been authorized by them to officially state they wholeheartedly support this evidence-based solution. and as side from all of these things, i'm also a former i.v. drug user myself. i spent 10 years shooting up crystal meth in san francisco. sometimes indoors, sometimes outdoors. it was not a pleasant journey or experience, and i feel really blessed and fortunate that i'm even able to be here today with you guys. and why am i here? one of the reasons i credit with me sur vieferg thasurvivingand finding my way d creating a new life is that -- excuse me -- the safe access to syringes as
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part of the harm reduction program that san francisco has instituted actually helped keep me safe. gave me access to clean syringes. it gave me health care treatment access when i needed it. it gave me information, and prevented me from getting hep "c," thank god, and i don't know how i dodged that bullet. the truth is, i wasn't ready for treatment. i didn't ask for treatment. but they kept caring for me until i was ready for treatment. and over that relationship i built with them and the trust i had, when i was ready i was able to get it. thank god we have these services that kept me alive long enough to make that decision. that is what this is about. thank you for your support. >> chairman: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon -- almost -- yes, good afternoon. i'm sam dennison. i also a former drug user, and i